mp3 help needed

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by HorniKaz, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. HorniKaz

    HorniKaz Supporting Member

    I've been thinking about getting an mp3 player just recently. Has anyone out there got any recommendations cos it's a bit of a minefield?

    Need it pretty sharpish though, going on my jollies on Saturday! :tongue:
  2. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    I bought a Creative Zen about 2 months ago from Dixons website. It has a 20 gig (8000 song) hard drive and was reasonably priced ( circa £150) Its pretty bulky compared to some but has an exceptional battery life (24 hours off a single charge) and is exceptional value for money. Otherwise, anything by Sony is always a pretty safe bet. Hope that helps. :)
  3. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Bro just bought an Ipod mini in Argos for £139. Probably the best known? He's happy with it!
  4. bagpuss

    bagpuss Active Member

    It really depends what you want from your mp3 player. If you want it to show you all of your music at once so that you can select tracks individually then get an ipod or something similar with a large hard drive. If you just want it to play music or if you don't have a particularly huge music collection, DON'T get an ipod!

    Mp3 players broadly fall into 2 categories:
    those with flash memory
    those with a hard drive

    The flash memory ones are the 'stick' ones that you get (as well as afew of the squarer ones). It doesn't make much difference what make you get, they're all pretty much the same, you will be just paying for the name if you go for a 'brand name' one of these. Sound quality is good and you can get them in varying sizes from 128Mb (20 songs upwards depending on bitrate of mp3) up to 1Gb (160 songs upwards depending on bitrate of mp3)

    The hard drive ones are the ones like the ipod and offer huge storage capacity (40Gb etc). They are considerably more expensive for minimal difference in sound quality. You're basically paying for the larger capacity (and the name) with these. Some of them however will display all of your music so that you can randomly select individual tracks as opposed to going through each one in turn like you would with most 'flash memory' players. If that's what you're looking for in a player then you've immediately reduced your choice to just those which will do it (think there's about 10-20 on the market which will). Bear in mind you will also be considerably reducing your bank balance!!!

    Sound quality is very similar whichever type you decide to go for. Make sure you take quite a supply of batteries too. Most mp3 players have a huge thirst when it comes to battery power, especially if you are continually adjusting the volume or shuffling between tracks.

    Basically, what I'm saying is, don't be fooled by the hype of the ipod and all the rest. They are all very similar. Shop around, decide what you want your player to do, decide what size you want it to be (storage capacity) and narrow it down that way. One final tip from me, don't get anything by Samsung and don't get one of these Napster ones either. I've had both. Both were rubbish and the software to get your mp3's onto the players in the firstplace isn't exactly user friendly. I eventually got refunds and went for a very cheap 256Mb flash player from Dixons. Sound quality is just as good, it was loads cheaper and you simply drag and drop the files from your computer to your mp3 player.

    This is not supposed to be an exhaustive list of what's available or what different types do. Hope it helps

  5. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Recently purchased an iPod Shuffle (1 Gb flash). Sound quality is great (although I absolutely hate ear-bud "headphones", which are all the iPods come with, although that wasn't a big problem for me, as I keep a high-quality pair of headphones with me almost all the time). Holds around 240 tracks (depending on length) at 128 kbps, which is a decent bitrate for general listening.

    The drawback is that it doesn't have any kind of display - you can either play the tracks in the order loaded, or in "shuffled" quasi-random order.

    The advantages are (1) no hard drive, so battery life is much longer; (2) no hard drive, so less sensitive to shock; (3) incredibly small (about the size of a pack of chewing gum), I wear mine on a lanyard around my neck; (4) the battery charges from any powered USB port, no special hardware required.

    Cost was $129 USD.
  6. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    Get an Ipod mini Kaz!! Mines pink and adorable :D soooooo easy to use! If I can work it anybody can!!
  7. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    iPod mini. Best compromise between size and capacity and relatively cheap. I got a 40Gb iPod and put on my whole CD collection but I find myself listening to the same few albums all the time so I could've saved 100 quid and got a mini instead.
  8. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hey Kaz,

    Defo gor for an iPod - they are excellent. I am sure there are other MP3 players/models/manufacturers that people have used that perhaps do the same sort of thing, but you gotta give credit to Apple/Mac for their fantastic aesthetics, straightforward simplicity and totally awesome design skills.

    The iPod set the standard for these devices.

    Though free - you also get iTunes which is your music library and mp3 player. It allows you to create your playlists, listen to internet radio, Podcasts (listen out for one of these about tMP very soon!!!) together with seameless integration to a huge selection of online music that is ready to purchase - often cheaper than purchasing the CD, and also sometimes with extra bonus tracks.

    There are four in our house!!! we luv 'em :)
  9. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    creative zen micro, Ive got that. But mines broken.
  10. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Not the best advert for that one then Yonhee eh...;)
  11. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    :oops: Maybe I should say that this is my 4th possibly 5th mp3 player, Ive broken all the others aswell... Im quite good at breaking things. But it is really good, you can have playlists and its got quite a long battery life and its 5GBs I think.
  12. HorniKaz

    HorniKaz Supporting Member

    Think I'd have stopped you getting one after you've broken 2!!

    Quite tempted by the iPod mini or iPod shuffle. Think I know what'll I'll be doing on my lunch hour tomorrow!!
  13. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Heather has an iPod Mini Kaz... only recently bought it for her as she doesn't need anything too big. She loves it as it is in "girlie pink"...;)
  14. bagpuss

    bagpuss Active Member

    Nothing against people with iPods or anything but you really must all have more money than sense!!! Cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would want to pay up to £299 for an iPod. If there's one item of 'wearable furniture' which says 'MUG ME', it's the iPod. Each to their own I suppose.

  15. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Most savvy people know not to spend £299 on an iPod, there are plenty of places where you can get them cheaper. The iPod is still king, all of the tech mags say so. When I was looking for a player I was dead set against the iPod and really wanted the new Sony so I tried various players and guess what, the iPod was the best. It is suffering a bit of a negative backlash from certain sections, in a similar fashion to Microsoft Windows, but no-one has, as yet, come up with a better combination of function, style and desireability. Until they do the iPod will remain king.

    Kaz, don't get the shuffle. For the extra £40 quid or so the mini will offer you a lot more. The shuffle is a very narrowly targeted device and Apple quite readily admit that. It is not aimed at serious music enthusiasts more at the early teenager market. You cannot control what is being played, you simply load tracks onto it and let the shuffle decide the order, hence the name. I honestly believe the iPod mini is your best option but you may also want to look the Rio Karma and models from Phillips, Sony and iRiver. Whatever you get I hope it brings you years of happiness unlike Yonhee who probably got days of happiness from any of his five. :)
  16. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Creative Labs 30GB Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra

    I bought mine off ebay for about £130 and it does everything you need it too. Get some better head phones though as they make a big difference.

    NO - its not as pretty as an Ipod
    NO - its not as small as an ipod
    YES - i enjoyed every last drop of beer that the huge difference in price afforded me
  17. lottie4744

    lottie4744 Member

    I'm not going to go off on a rant about why NOT to get an iPod, I'll just say, DON'T get an iPod, have a look at Song, I've got a Sony NW-HD1, 20Gb (compresses songs so it can hold 13000) 32 hour battery life, I used to have an iPod and the iPod doesn't even compare to the sonys, they're more reliable too!
  18. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    That's true Lauren the Sony is now a very good machine. Correct me if I'm wrong but the NW-HD1 doesn't do MP3, only Sonys proprietry ATRAAC, and the Sound Stage software is nowhere near as good as iTunes, which itself isn't that great. Later models of the Sony jukebox do however add MP3 capability which greatly widens its appeal and it is now a very good unit. The killer for me though is the fact that more and more in-car head units are adding iPod functionality meaning I can take my iPod with me in the car. I would expect Sony to follow suit in due course for their own units.
  19. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    For iPod or other MP3 player owners, you can use a cassette adapter which connects to the audio out of mp3 player then plays in your car casette player, or there are a few different FM Transmitters that play on your unused radio frequencies.
  20. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    What's a cassette player. :)

    Rather defeats the purpose of high quality digital audio though, nor are any of these a totally integrated solution. Some of the radio transmitters are in fact illegal for use in this country without a broadcasting licence.

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